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Palestinian PM hails UN's report on firms linked to illegal Israeli settlements

Mohammed Shtayyeh praised the UN [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2020

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Palestinian Prime Minister has hailed the UN for releasing a report on businesses that have ties to illegal settlements.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Wednesday hailed a UN Report on businesses said to have ties to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to the international courts.

"We demand the companies immediately close their headquarters and branches inside illegal Israeli settlements because their presence contradicts international and UN resolutions," said Shtayyeh in a post on his Facebook page.

"We will pursue companies listed in the report legally through international legal institutions and in courts in their countries for taking part in human rights violations in Palestine."

Shtayyeh said Palestinians would also "demand compensation" for what he called "their use of our occupied land illegally".

The UN on Wednesday released a list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, including Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor.

The report comes in response to a 2016 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a "database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory". 

The UN rights office said the claim about the companies was "not, and does not purport to be, a judicial or quasi-judicial process".

Israeli officials fear the list could be used to boycott firms with ties to the Israeli settlements.

Among the businesses on the list are a range of large international companies, including Airbnb, Alstom, Booking.com and Motorola Solutions.

"I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious," UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said.

But she added that the findings had been subject to an "extensive and meticulous review process" and the report "reflects the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate".

The report, which was scheduled to be released three years ago, has repeatedly been delayed.

The final report cited 112 business entities that the office had "reasonable grounds to conclude have been involved in one or more of the specific activities referenced" in the 2016 resolution.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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